Marketing and Manufacturing involvement in R&D

4 Aug 2010 Sandeep Mehta

The paper A Cross-National Comparative Study of Senior Management Policy, Marketing–Manufacturing Involvement, and Innovation Performance in the Journal of Product Innovation Management has some useful data to support many intuitive judgments.

The proposed framework is contingent on the national culture of the country in which product development occurs. Structural equation modeling is used to test the framework with data from a sample of 146 U.S. marketing managers and 185 Japanese marketing managers. 

First takeaway is the senior managers have a huge impact on how cross-organizational collaboration works.

The results suggest that a number of senior management policies are effective in promoting joint involvement between the marketing and manufacturing functions during the innovation process.

Another takeaway is the cultural has a significant impact.  Individual behavior / rewards worked in US when they encouraged the R&D team leader, but not in Japan.  More clarity and structure worked in Japan and not in the USA.

While the use of formal cross-functional integration policies was found to promote marketing–manufacturing involvement both in the United States and Japan, team leader autonomy, team rewards, and job rotation were found to promote marketing involvement in the United States but not in Japan. On the other hand, promoting marketing–manufacturing involvement via goal clarity and promotion of teamwork proved to be effective in Japan.

These findings go very well with the research on how IT helps collaboration between R&D and marketing.

The results have a number of implications for product development practice. Foremost among these is the finding that, despite the fundamental ideological differences separating the marketing and manufacturing functions, senior management policies can enhance the level of marketing–manufacturing involvement, and consequently can improve the likelihood of new product success. The second implication is that the effectiveness of specific senior management policies depends on national culture. Thus, managers wishing to improve the marketing–manufacturing interface should select the policies that match the culture in which the product development project is located.

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